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"Just in case"

"Customers get their 'just-in-case' before the millennium at the Y2 Store."

By Tracy Correa The Fresno Bee Published November 20, 1999)

"The last solar oven has been sold. The "shelf-ready" milk is going fast. And powdered peanut butter, although still available, is up 50 cents a pound since the beginning of the year."

"That's what happens when you wait until the last minute to prepare for Y2K, says Diane Mayberry, co-owner of the Y2 Store in Fresno on the northwest corner of First Street and Ashlan Avenue."

"It's coming!" she said."

"As the new millennium closes in, - there are six more weeks left in case you're counting - business at the Y2 Store has quadrupled, according to Mayberry."

"All of the procrastinators have put it off until November," she said."

"The year-end rush is evident. It has pinched the store's supply of shelf-ready milk."

"We had almost 100 cases a week-and-a-half ago," Mayberry said. Today, there are seven cases - including strawberry and chocolate - left on the metal rack shelves."

"The store has run out of its supply of solar ovens, box-like contraptions that sit on the floor and have an aluminum collar on top. The solar devices come in small, medium and large and cost from $237 to $337. Mayberry said they're worth the price and can cook anything that a regular oven can, reaching temperatures up to 450 degrees. The Y2 Store has sold 15 of the ovens in the past few months and has compiled a customer waiting list for more."

"Mayberry, who has a college degree in botany, has 20 years experience as a disaster preparedness lecturer. She opened the Y2 Store in January along with partners Tom and Patti Binford. The owners intend to keep the store open well after the new year."

"When the store first opened, business was brisk with a small number of avid millennium watchers picking up basics such as tools and flashlights, Mayberry said. It slowed down in the summer. Then, in October and November the store was hit by a second wave that continues to grow as the year-end nears."

"Customers are spending more, too. Sales average about $250 a person, Mayberry said."

"Mayberry cites polls that suggest that at the beginning of 1999 only 3% of people were planning to buy emergency supplies to prepare for the millennium. However, that number is expected to jump to 19% by the end of the year."

"If it gets to that percent, demand will get so high it can't be met," she said."

"So far, that hasn't been much of a problem at the Fresno store, with the exception of the solar ovens. Although Mayberry warns that could happen if there is a nationwide shortage on supplies."

"What has been a problem is convincing people and the public that preparing for Y2K is not reserved for fanatics or weirdos."

"In fact, Mayberry said customers at the store are pretty regular people. Clients have included a highway patrol officer, doctors, dentists, even gang members."

"Still, she said, "people are worried about how they are going to be perceived." Even once they are in the store, they don't always acknowledge they are worried about Y2K. "They say they are in here to buy 'just in case.' "

"While some customers know exactly what they are looking for at the store, more often, Mayberry and her staff members have to walk customers through "the basics" of what is needed in case of emergency."

"They hand out a number of lists and "how to" tips, including 72-hour emergency supply lists, an emergency food-supply list for a backpack, directions on how to use bleach for water purification and cooking recipes that apply to most food items sold at the store."

"On a stroll through the small, spartan shop, it's easy to tell this store is different."

"Items sold range from waterproof matches to four-pound tubs of soup base. The soup base, which comes in ham, beef and chicken flavors, sells for $18 a tub and has a minimum shelf life of two years if stored at 70 degrees."

"The biggest selling item in the store is a water purifier that supposedly can filter out chlorine. Mayberry said while it's not recommended that people drink swimming pool water, customers are buying the purifiers for that reason - just in case. The purifier comes in 12-gallon plastic container ($167) and in 24-gallon stainless steel ($267)."

"It wasn't easy to find customers willing to talk about their purchases at the store."

"One couple refused to talk to a reporter. Another man had been waiting patiently for the store's 10 a.m. opening but decided to leave when he saw the reporter and photographer. (The photographer was eventually asked by the store owner to move The Bee's labeled vehicle away from the storefront parking.)"

"Mayberry calls the reactions typical."

"We have people who say, 'My parents think I'm crazy.' " Mayberry said."

"None of that seemed to bother shopper Arlene Wadsworth of Fresno."

"Wadsworth, 59, said she and her family have been stocking up little by little for more than a year. She said it's not just about Y2K, it's about disaster preparedness."

"What if there's a problem with the water, some kind of local emergency?" said Wadsworth, a homemaker."

"Mayberry said stocking up doesn't have to be expensive. She said a one-year supply of basics for a family of four - including winter wheat, instant milk, sugar, rice, butter powder, egg powder, peanut butter powder and other items - can be purchased for $2,401.25."

"The Y2 Store discounts the price to $2,047 if purchased in a single transaction."

"Tom Binford Jr., whose parents co-own the store with Mayberry, said it bothers him that people think stocking up is strange."

"Why is it OK to spend $1,500 on a car stereo or big-screen TV, but to buy food like this seems crazy?"

-- Deb M. (, November 21, 1999


A rational explanation for making Y2K preparations UO

Stan Faryna

Got 14 days of preps? If not, get started now. Click here.

Click here and check out the TB2000 preparation forum.

-- Stan Faryna (, November 21, 1999.

>"Wadsworth, 59, said she and her family have been stocking up little by little for more than a year. She said it's not just about Y2K, it's about disaster preparedness."

Sounds more like the same 1-3% still preparing with a few stragglers popping up out of the woodwork. Wadsworth is in the 1998 pool.

-- Paula (, November 21, 1999.

The "powdered butter" just reminded me of something that you may consider for Y2K preps. I realize that the powdered form is to use for cooking, or reconstituting for putting on bread, etc. But another way to get butter without refrigerating it, so that you get the CALORIES from the fat in it, which is what is important, is to stock up on those Danish butter cookies that are sold at Christmas time in every store. They come in up to 5-lb. canisters, which is great and better than the paper packages that store cookies come in. Plus, you can buy LOTS and give as gifts for Christmas, especially to those DGI friends. They are cheap, too. Here, a 5-lb. canister is $10 Can. For info purposes, FAT has 9 Calories/gram. There are about 28 grams per ounce.

Carbohydrates yield 3.5-4.5 Calories/gram, so call it 4 average. This includes all forms of sugars.

Protein also yield 4 Calories per gram.Remember meat is only from 16-25% protein by weight.

Ethyl alcohol (booze) yields 7 Calories/gram. Remember this is the ALCOHOL portion only of whatever drink you are talking about.

So, in summary, you can store away a lot of calories quite cheaply with good old butter cookies! Keeps the rats out if they're in tins.

And you won't have any problem getting kids to eat them, either.

-- profit of doom (, November 21, 1999.

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